Ministry of Mines and Energy

Query: Mention government’s efforts that are in place to support small-scale mining in the Erongo Region in order to create employment?

Response: In general, small-scale miners are self-employed and the Ministry of Mines and Energy tries to give assistance to them in support of their mining operations, such as: Providing information on procedures of acquiring mineral rightsclaims, assisting small-scale miners with pegging of claims, providing geotechnical support services to small-scale miners (SSMs), especially laboratory sample analysis for free to SSMs who have mineral rights. We also help them liaise with other stakeholders to optimise support to SSMs, and supporting small-scale miners to participate in trade fairs in order to market their products. Also a Mineral Ancillary Rights Commission is in place and assists small-scale miners with common disputes of lack of access to private land (farms).

Query: What can one do to get involved in the small-scale mining activities and what kind of licences are applicable to the small-scale miners?

Response: The first step when one is seeking to be involved in small-scale mineral exploration or mining activities is to apply for a Non-Exclusive Prospecting Licence (NEPL). A NEPL is mainly for small-scale miners. The holder of a non-exclusive prospecting licence is allowed to look for any mineral or group of minerals, on any land throughout Namibia. Any person may apply for a non-exclusive prospecting licence, provided heshe has reached the age of 18 years. A non-exclusive prospecting licence shall be valid for a period of 12 months. A non-exclusive prospecting licence shall not be transferred. An application for a non-exclusive prospecting licence costs N$50. A non-exclusive prospecting licence is needed if the applicant wants to apply for a mining claim (in order to be able to peg any claim).

Query: What is a Mining Claim?

Response: A Mining Claim is for Namibian citizens or Namibian-owned companies only for the development of small-scale mines, valid for 3 years, with a 2-year renewal period. A person can have a maximum number of 10 claims at the same area or spread out in Namibia. A Mining Claim application costs N$50. The holder of a Mining Claim is allowed to mineextract minerals from the area. Small-scale miners normally exploit the following mineral groups: dimension stones, semi-precious stones and industrial minerals. Other groups like precious stones, base and rare metals, precious metals, nuclear fuels and non-nuclear fuels are not allowed, and, on the other hand, mining these commodities requires high labour and capital intensity, which is beyond the reach of small-scale miners.

Theopolina Hasheela, Chief Public Relations Officer,

Source : New Era